China conducted another orbital launch using a Long March-11 solid fuel rocket on Friday. The launch took place from a mobile launch platform from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 23:51 UTC.
Onboard the LM-11 rocket was the first Hongyun satellite.
Developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), this is the fist satellite of a vast space-based communications network capable of covering every corner on the Earth, including the Arctic and Antarctica. The satellite mission is to verify low-orbit broadband communication technologies to be used on the Hongyun satellite constellation.
Announced by CASIC in September 2016, the Hongyun project has the goal of building a space-based communications network of 156 communications satellites into low Earth orbit, at an altitude of 160 to 2,000 km. Each satellite of the network will be able to transmit 500 megabytes of data per second. It will become operational in 2022.
Currently the only render of the satellite – via Chinese social media
After the tests with the first Hongyun satellite, another four satellites will be launched by the end of 2020 to form a small network for the project’s trial run. Operational satellites will be launched after the first tests of ...